Makkuro-Kurosuke

まっくろくろすけ (ススワタリ), Susuwatari
Susuwatari lit. meaning travelling soot are the dust bunnies or soot sprites first featured in My Neighbor Totoro as shy slightly frightful creatures that live in abandoned buildings such as houses. They later reappeared in Spirited Away as workers in Kamajis boiler room. They are small black as soot and apparently fuzzy with spherical bodies and two inquisitive eyes. They move by hovering around but they can extend sticklike legs and arms from their bodies to do certain tasks and can lift objects many times heavier than their own weight. They make a squeaky murmuring sound when excited and dissolve into powder soot if crushed. In My Neighbour Totoro the house the main characters move into is full of Susuwatari which are rationalized as Makkuro Kurosuke pitchblack blackie an optical illusion caused by moving quickly from light into darkness. Later the family drives the Susuwatari out of the house as the home that was once abandoned is now inhabited. They would move to another abandoned area. In Spirited Away the protagonist Sen Chihiro befriends a number of them by helping them carry coal. Sen is told that if these Susuwatari arent given a job to do they turn back into soot. Another character Lin feeds the Susuwatari much like farmers feed chickens throwing handfuls of the Japanese candy Kompeito onto the ground for them to eat.
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